Beeminder Forum

How to set up a goal to study every day before finals?

What has been helping me so far is setting up a tumblr sideblog to my own where I would post everytime, I finish 10 ANKI cards, so I would be reporting out loud and in the open about what I’ve been doing with my time.

I would like to expand that to doing practice exams, but I feel like using my ANKI IFTTT method would not be as helpful? I feel like I will eventually fake post that I did my practice exams, and I do not trust myself to always stay honest because they are huge opposed to the ANKI cards, and of course, I don’t want to lose money. I’m wondering what have you all done to trap yourself and hold yourself accountable to prevent faking from possibly happening? Thank you!

Edit: I’m thinking about collecting pomodoro sessions, since that will be harder to fake. How would that be set up?

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If you’re tempted to put in false data, then it’s very tricky to circumvent that through any sort of automated method if you’re weasel-y enough.

If you manage to convince yourself to honour the data, and that you ought to just de-rail and try again on a day that you don’t feel up to it, then you’ll never have to worry about false data in the first place.

But, if you’re like me and have a very convincing weasel-brain, then I suggest being as thorough as possible with your tracking, by having multiple goals:

  1. Track your digital time (via RescueTime) – You can even go a step further with this and create a custom category that only tracks one or two specific sites/apps you need for studying.
    To add: If you want to track pomodoro sessions, then you might be interested in TagTime.
  2. Track the input – Good news for your use case, Anki has the ability to track with Beeminder directly, which would make it far more difficult to falsify.
    For something like practice exams, you could add a goal where you +1 for each practice exam you do.
  3. Track the output – You’re already doing this with your tumblr/IFTTT goal, I would add that you might want to involve a third-party to review your posts to make sure they’re legit.

And of course, make sure to weaselproof all your goals as well.


Thank you so much! I’ll be sure to implement of all this as I keep moving forward; these are really helpful!!

Consider the following. Sign up for FocusMate. Then beemind that you will attend X focusmate sessions per week (such as 7 per week aka one per day or whatever makes sense). This is in addition to beeminding other important metrics.

I’m not associated with them in any way, but I am a big advocate for FocusMate. It’s an easy way to get in a solid 45 to 50 minutes at a time.

Also, I’m not associated with Beeminder (I’m actually very new), but I’ve realized that I need to be not excessively afraid to pay Beeminder. From a theoretical point of view, it’s almost certain that most people, if they use it correctly, WILL eventually pay beeminder some money as they find their own contractual motivation point.

There’s an almost paradoxical thing about paying Beeminder money. On the one hand, nobody in their right mind wants to give them derailment money, and a healthy fear of loss of money is a good thing. On the other hand, derailing and giving them money is part of the process, so one shouldn’t fear that to such an excessive level that they would feel like cheating.

The threat of having to pay $5 might not be enough. If you derail on that, maybe the threat of having to pay $10 will be enough. But if that’s not enough then maybe the threat of having to pay $30 will be enough. You have to pay beeminder to find what your motivational point is.

And I’ll say this, I signed up for one of their premium plans (lower level) because I thought it would allow me to do something in particular. Well it turned out that it didn’t actually allow me to do that. But the funny thing is that I actually felt BETTER about my commitment to the product after paying for it!

All of this points back to the fact that for each of us, beeminder is something of a psychological experiment, and the more one is invested in the product, in various ways including financially, the more probable it is that it will work.


This are some extremely insightful points in regards to gauging where that motivational sweet spot lies and all that trial and error that goes into working with Beeminder (given that I am a psychology nut myself haha). As for FocusMate, I’ll check that out. Thank you so much for your reply!